The Heart of Penance

“Repent, and believe in the Gospel” (Mk 1:15). These words rang out in Galilee when our Lord started his public preaching, and they were heard worldwide last week on Ash Wednesday. Repentance is a definitive turning away from sin, but … Continue reading

Lent is for Lovers

If you don’t give it up for love, you won’t give it up for long. Growing up in New England—the birthplace of Dunkin Donuts—Dunkin coffee was like mother’s milk to me. Instead of milk, though, I took mine with cream … Continue reading

Chocolate and Ashes

Can you read my mind and know what I am thinking? You probably cannot without my help. Nevertheless, what others think, especially those with whom we live, work, or love, matters to us. Often we pick up a person’s general … Continue reading

The Light of the Just One

We tend to shy away from our sins and weaknesses coming to light. When we hear of someone caught and punished for committing injustice, we might be tempted to think them worse off than those ‘lucky’ evildoers who get off … Continue reading

I Am Able

If only we could have the confidence of James and John. “‘Are you able to drink the chalice that I am to drink?’ They said to him, ‘We are able’” (Mt 20:22). And lest we think that they don’t know … Continue reading

The Six Effects of Confession

During Lent, many Catholics return to the sacrament of Penance, some after a few weeks, others after many years. Most of us approach Confession seeking forgiveness of sin and the alleviation of a guilty conscience. Perhaps to our surprise, the … Continue reading

The Purple Haze of Lent

Jimi Hendrix probably didn’t have Lent in mind when he wrote “Purple Haze.” But Lent can feel like a “purple haze, all around,” and not just because of the vestments. In the confusing mix of emotions, one might echo Hendrix, … Continue reading